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Published on February 15, 2021

6 Common COVID-19 Myths and Misconceptions

6 Common COVID-19 Myths and Misconceptions

Debunk common COVID-19 myths and misconceptions with Infection Prevention Medical Director Cynthia Snider, MD, MPH, in this 2 Your Well-Being discussion with WFMY News 2.

Myth #1: I've been vaccinated, so I can hang out with family members and friends who I don't live with like I used to – meaning no mask, no social-distancing, etc.

“So the vaccine is not 100% protective. There's still a risk of getting COVID and also transmitting it to somebody that's not immune. So it's still very important until everyone else gets the vaccine and has immunity to still continue to wear our masks.

Myth #2: When the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 decreases, that pretty much means COVID will be over soon and we can all get back to normal.

“I think we all wish that our numbers for COVID continue to trend down. I think the reason why that's happening is that everybody is following those three W's and people are wearing masks. They are staying away from crowded places. They're staying within their own bubble and not going out to too many areas where they might get exposed to COVID, so we want to make sure to keep doing all that we can so that we don't spread more cases in the community.

Myth #3:  It's okay to only get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think the reason why that's not true, again, it has to do with that the vaccine right now is a two-dose series. The first dose will get you anywhere from 50 - 70% percent effectiveness. That second dose gets you closer to 95% effectiveness. So it's important to do the two doses.

Myth #4: I've had COVID-19. I don't need to get the vaccine or wear a mask.

“Well, part of that is true - you do get immunity. You get natural immunity after you've had COVID-19. And we know that you probably have enough immunity at least for 3 months. If you are eligible by your age or by what you do for work, if you're up in line to get the vaccine, I think it is a good idea to still get vaccinated despite having had COVID-19. And still without a doubt always wear a mask.”

Myth #5: I'm going on a trip with friends and family. As long as I test negative before I head out of town, then no one is really at risk.

“You know, that's almost true. You have to actually quarantine for those few weeks before you go on a trip with your friends and then you have some reliability with the testing being negative. Again, that test tells you you're negative for that day. You know, we've known plenty of people that were negative before they got together with their families, but they were actually still during their early incubation period and then ended up giving COVID to many family members.

Myth #6: Should you wear more than one mask at a time for protection from the new COVID variants?

“Some recent CDC recommendations are saying that if you are wearing just a mask with one layer [of fabric], that is not sufficient. You need to have at least two layers, possibly three, and depending on your mask quality and if it's well fitting, that should be okay. If you are wearing a one layer mask, then it makes sense to have a second mask on top.”

“It really comes down to the fabrics. If you look at the mask you purchase, you can probably tell if there's at least two layers. And what I mean by three layers is that some of those masks are made for a filter pocket, and you can put a filter there, and then technically that would be three layers. Some of the medical/surgical masks are actually three-ply, and so we don't recommend for people to wear a couple surgical masks. But if you have any mask that you can see through, that's probably not sufficient to really block the droplets.”

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